2018 New Workplace Trends

Most economic indicators show a positive view of the U.S. economy in 2018 – which means good things for both clients and candidates. Yet there are several areas that remain a challenge when it comes to finding the right talent for the right positions. To prepare ahead of time, here are some of the key trends we expect in the new year:

  1. Greater Candidate Confidence in the Job Market

Earlier this year the “official” unemployment rate reached the lowest it’s been in 16 years, and has consistently remained low. The healthcare industry is also predicted to be one of the fastest growing industries in 2018.

With more jobs being added to the market, candidate confidence in their ability to find a quality job is at an all-time high. As more leverage shifts to candidates, job seekers are becoming more selective and less willing to settle for a job that does not meet their requirements.

Even those who are currently employed are increasingly likely to be looking at other opportunities. High performers are being constantly approached with enticing offers, and companies need to be sure they are doing everything they can to keep their best people happy.

  1. Increased Competition for Specialized Talent

The industry shift from broad-based R&D to more innovative research for niche products and services requires candidates to have increasingly diverse and specialized skillsets.

For companies striving to innovate and deliver the next breakthrough in technology, there are a limited amount of highly specialized candidates in the talent pool. This, combined with high retirement rates of executive “baby boomers”, has companies scrambling to fill key roles with less experienced candidates, many of whom are less qualified but seeking career development.

  1. Improved Hiring Experience

Given the trends in employee confidence and talent competition, wise employers will adjust their strategy for attracting new candidates. We expect a greater focus on employer branding, the candidate experience, and corporate reputation.

We also anticipate many companies to significantly improve their hiring process. The biotech & pharma industries have one of the longest interview processes times. Data shows employers lose a significant number of good candidates due to a slow-moving hiring processes.

We expect companies to make a big push to streamline their application and interview processes, enabling them to move more quickly to offer when they find the right candidate for the position.

  1. Flexibility & Work Life Balance on the Rise

In the past two decades, the volume of employees who have worked at least partially by telecommuting has quadrupled, and now stands at 37%.

Flexibility and work/life balance is one of the most desirable benefits among both women and Millennials – two relatively more available candidate pools. With such a high demand, employers are increasingly providing options to attract and retain high performers from these candidate pools.

  1. More Performance- based Goals

With greater flexibility and more remote work, we expect a similar rise in performance-based, goal driven cultures. Management is transitioning from “micro-managing” employees onsite, to a more performance-driven approach. In the future, an even greater percentage of compensation will be tied to achieving goals and corporate objectives.

  1. Greater Focus on Diversity & Inclusion

No longer is diversity and inclusion just a buzz topic. Diversity enhances innovation, and companies with balanced executive teams outperform those with less diverse teams. 1, 2, 3 Given the talent crisis, the under-utilized and available talent pools of the future are the historically under-utilized pools of gender diverse, ethnically diverse, and millennials.

Data shows that companies who have diverse leadership teams have an advantage in performance, and in recruiting. As more companies continue to realize powerful results, we anticipate even greater commitment, support, resources, and mentoring programs to further enhance diversity in the workplace. That being said, it will still require effort from women and minorities already in leadership roles to help others get the advancement opportunities they deserve.

With these efforts, we believe there is no better time than now for women and minorities to land incredible executive-level roles.

  1. Succession Planning Focus

Nearly half of CEOs have indicated an increased focus on developing a pipeline of future leaders was one of the most important components to keep their company competitive.

Smart companies are leveraging their seasoned executives to pass on the skills needed to their future successors prior to retirement. We expect to see more succession planning focus, employee mentoring programs, and training to become a greater priority to effectively prepare the next generation of leadership.

The landscape for 2018 will continue to evolve as we head into the new year. Toft Group remains committed to enhancing our clients’ return on investment by quickly identifying the right candidate for each important role on the executive leadership team and Board of Directors. We believe the future is bright, and progressive companies will realize impressive growth opportunities. To start your next executive search in biotech and healthcare high tech, contact us.

_______________

Sources

  1. Archer, Seth. Companies with Women in Leadership Roles Crush the Competition. Business Insider. June 17, 2016.
  2. Rock, David, et al. Why Diverse Teams are Smarter. HBR.org. Nov. 4, 2016.
  3. What Makes a High-Performing Team? The Answer May Surprise You. MIT Sloan Executive Education. Mar 22, 2017

 

 

“Diverse Candidates Can Win If They Can Get the Interview.”

Robin Toft Joins an Executive Panel at the 2017 Biotech Investor Forum in San Francisco to Tackle Diversity & Inclusion

 

Companies with more diverse leadership have shown to have greater performance and long-term success. However, many organizations struggle to develop leadership teams where women and minorities hold executive level positions.

 

Robin Toft joined other industry leaders from Halozyme, Canaan Partners, Daré Bioscience, and Global Blood Therapeutics for the #BIF17 Business Panel: “Practical Approaches for Improving Leadership Diversity” to confront the issues preventing diversity in the C-suite. Read the recap to learn how to make change happen in any organization.

 

View Recap

 

Learn to Lead with a Growth Mindset from Toft Group Executive Search

I hope 2017 to date has been action packed for you personally, and that your company is hitting its growth goals. At Toft Group we realize that having a Growth Mindset is of huge importance to continuously improving who we are and how we do business. Our Team is committed to showing up that way for our customers, and wanted to share an amazing resource we have discovered with you in this issue. We invite you to read our feature article “Learn to Lead with a Growth Mindset from Toft Group Executive Search.

Additionally, we’re proud to announce a new look for Toft Group! Our refreshed brand reflects the growing capabilities and strengthened partnerships we have with executive leaders to deliver on what matters most: shaping the future of healthcare at the intersection of Biotech and High Tech. Please check out our new website at www.thetoftgroup.com.

Every day, we challenge ourselves to solve fundamental industry issues in new ways. We’re thinking ahead to help our clients navigate the complex world where High Tech meets Biotech.

In today’s environment with the current talent crisis, we’re also taking the lead when it comes to accessing the workforces of the future (gender diverse, ethnically diverse, and millennials), which will absolutely require achieving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Finally, we’d love to hear about your growth goals – Please contact us to get started.

Sincerely,

Robin Toft

President & Chief Engagement Officer, Toft Group Executive Search

Access the full Newsletter here

5 Ways Your Company Can Compete in a Candidate-Driven Market

It is hard to think it has almost been about a decade since the Great Recession, where roughly nine million jobs were lost and the unemployment rate hovered around 10%.

Have we fully recovered? According to the latest data, it certainly seems like it.

The monthly unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing, and just this month, hit the lowest it’s been in 16 years.

The comeback is great news for both employers and employees, but having the pendulum swing the other direction means a new set of challenges for employers. Job applicants now have more opportunities at their fingertips, creating a candidate-driven market where even employed professionals are continually keeping an eye out for better opportunities. The challenge to fill positions is even greater for the Life Sciences industry, which already faces a shortage of highly-skilled and experienced executives.

With candidates in the driver’s seat, how can companies stand out as attractive places to work? Our feature article It’s a Candidate’s Market: The 5 Ways to Keep your Company Competitive reveals the various factors contributing to the current job market, and how you as an employer can stay ahead of the game.

For over 10 years, Toft Group executive search consultants have remained a trusted partner in providing clients with exceptional candidates, despite an ever-changing talent landscape. If you’re ready to start your next search, we’re here to help.

Sincerely,

Robin Toft

President & Chief Engagement Officer, Toft Group Executive Search

Access the full Newsletter here

Will You Make The Right Hire? 6 Ways to Determine Cultural Fit of an Executive Candidate

Determining cultural fit is one of the most important aspects of hiring, particularly at the executive level.

  • Executive team members set the standard for what is acceptable in the workplace from the moment they are hired.
  • They are the ones who hire and fire, potentially bringing in former employees they have worked with in the past to fill new roles or replace staff.
  • How they interact with direct reports, their peers and their bosses becomes the example for how others should work together.
  • Their values (or lack thereof) become the company’s values. Even if they only stay with the company for a short period, their impact may last long after they are gone.

Considering that employee turnover can cost a company up to 60% of that person’s salary, the tangible cost of hiring the wrong executive could be significant.

That said, determining the cultural fit of an executive candidate can be difficult. Often, it is only after you have made the hire and the candidate has spent a few months at the company before you (or they) can determine if the cultural fit is aligned.  Roughly 89% of new hire failures are due to an individual’s traits (think lack of coachability, low emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament) versus only 11% of new hire failures that are due to a lack of technical skill.

To gain better insights on cultural fit, here are 6 types of questions to ask before you make the offer:

1. Personal Values & Preferences

No matter what the position level, everyone has a unique type of workplace that works best for their lifestyle and values.  These personal values should be in line with the values that drive the (hiring) company.

What type of environment do they thrive in? Do they perform best in competitive environments? Are they more focused on collaboration or rewarding individual achievements? Do they value flexibility or structure? Do they appreciate a culture that “feels like family” or do they prefer a place where everyone simply does their job and goes home?

Walk through the candidate’s previous roles and have them provide examples of cultural similarities and differences, positives and negatives. Do all of the past companies fall under a certain ‘type’ of environment and does the culture at your company seem to be vastly different?

There are no right or wrong answers. It is simply an honest and open conversation to determine which type of environment the candidate will thrive in for the long-term, and whether your company provides that.

2. Influence

How have they been able to influence or improve culture?

This is a useful follow-up question when asking about the pros and cons of previous work environments.  Great or not so great — what did the person do to make it better?

For employers, it may not always be about finding people that fit perfectly within the current culture, but more about how the new employee can make positive changes. Effective leaders are those who have the ability to add diversity and improve upon the current culture.

3. Leadership Style

Ask for examples of how the type of work environment impacts their management style. What do they expect from employees they manage? How do they motivate employees? Do they believe in offering monetary incentives or other types of rewards?

Determining what a candidate believes makes an effective leader or manager will likely indicate the type of management style they work well with and perhaps aspire to emulate.

4. Adaptability

Have the candidate describe personality traits of people they have worked really well with, and those that they did not get along with as well.

Take this a step further by having them break down working with similar and different personalities at various levels:

  • Those they have managed
  • Former peers and colleagues
  • Previous supervisors and bosses

Having a candidate compare and contrast their personality types with others can be very insightful about them as a person, but most importantly, it can reveal how they work with different types of individuals.

As the one interviewing, try to identify any patterns. Do they seem to only work well with the same type of people, or do they collaborate effectively with various personality types. These types of questions can convey their level of self-awareness and ability to adapt their personality to others.

5. Approach to Conflict

How should conflict be handled at work?

For many individuals, conflict is a particularly sensitive issue. It can be equated to discussing failures, and candidates may be nervous to bring up examples where they have had to deal with conflict because they are concerned about how they will be perceived.

However, conflict is inevitable in the work environment. When managed well, conflict can be a good thing that is vital for promoting diversity and innovation, allowing for different ideas, perspectives, and critical thinking.

Furthermore, avoiding conflict can have negative effects to company culture. So the question really isn’t about whether they have faced conflict, but how they have dealt with it. Senior level candidates should have experience with effectively managing conflict and hopefully using it to move the company forward.

6. Cultural Assessment

Allow the candidate to experience your company. Have them go to lunch with the team, sit in on an informal meeting, or at the very least, have them meet with different people during the interview process.

Ask them for their insights and observations of the company culture (both positive and negative) and how they would potentially play a cultural role.

Meeting team members and experiencing the culture first-hand will not only provide them with a better idea of what it’s like to work for your company, it will provide you with interesting feedback, regardless of whether you hire the candidate.

Employers who make cultural fit a major component of the hiring process can avoid significant costs that can come from making the wrong hire. Toft Group performs a thorough, multi-dimensional vetting process which evaluates the corporate cultural fit of each candidate, ensuring expectations of both client and candidate are met. To learn more about how we find the right candidate, contact us.

Toft Group Ranked ‘Top 50 Executive Recruiter’ for 2017 by Hunt Scanlon Media

Toft Group Executive Search, a global life sciences and healthcare executive recruiting firm, announced it has been ranked in the Top 50 Executive Recruiting Firms by Hunt Scanlon Media, the most widely referenced, single source for information in the human capital sector.

Toft Group was one of eleven new companies ranked in the Top 50 this year with Hunt Scanlon Media describing the group as the largest, fastest growing, and leading boutique specialty executive search firms in the Americas. The Top 50 List collectively generated $3.1 billion in revenue for 2016, a record and a significant comeback since the Great Recession a decade ago. The article highlighted that the record growth was due to a massive industry shift away from identifying and recruiting leaders, to providing sophisticated talent solutions that integrate leadership consulting with executive search capabilities.

“To be recognized by Hunt Scanlon as one of the largest recruiting firms in the Americas for the first time is an honor and major milestone for Toft Group Executive Search,” commented Robin Toft, President & CEO. “We have an incredible team and are proud of their ability to deepen relationships with clients, continually delivering highly specialized leadership in areas where there is a significant talent shortage.

Scott A. Scanlon, founding chairman & CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media and editor-in-chief of this year’s rankings report, provided his insight on the booming industry, “…More companies are looking to search firms for a multitude of services – from succession planning and candidate assessments to onboarding and executive coaching.”

Toft Group has experienced significant revenue growth since it was established in 2010. Earlier this year, Toft Group was also ranked in Hunt Scanlon’s Top 50 Executive Search Firm in Life Sciences. For more information about Toft Group, visit www.thetoftgroup.com.

About Toft Group Executive Search

Toft Group Executive Search is “Changing the Future of Medicine, One Relationship at a Time” and we take pride in the fact that our work helps our clients accelerate getting novel products to market. Named a Top 150 Fastest Growing Private Company and a Top 50 Executive Search Firm in Life Sciences, we are a global retained executive search firm that is 100% dedicated to life sciences & healthcare industries.  Our customers include biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, digital health, and diagnostic companies. With offices in San Francisco, San Diego and Boston, we assist a wide range of local, national and international companies – from venture backed start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.

About Hunt Scanlon Media

Hunt Scanlon Media has been informing the senior talent management sector for over 25 years. Our global news and intelligence data comes in many forms, including daily newswires, talent leadership reports, newsletter briefings and social media alerts. The privately-held company is headquartered in Greenwich, Conn.

Perception vs. Reality: The 4 Disconnects Preventing Gender Equality in Life Sciences

Earlier this month, we celebrated International Women’s Day honoring the growing number of business leaders and Life Sciences companies that are making equality a top priority.

However, we also recognized that much more work needs to be done to achieve gender parity, particularly when it comes to pinpointing the obstacles that stand in our way.

The latest data from a survey by Ernst & Young, reveals major disconnects in what men and women believe are preventing women from progressing into executive roles. In our Feature Article “Perception vs. Reality: The 4 Disconnects Preventing Gender Equality in Life Sciences” we discuss these disconnects and provide practical steps to accelerate narrowing the gender gap within your company.

As part of our commitment to helping women advance into executive leadership positions, we are actively preparing to launch several exciting new programs, starting with our San Francisco HR Leader event on April 20th: Creating a Workplace Where Women Thrive by acclaimed executive coach and author, Will Marre. Please let us know if you are leading Human Resources in San Francisco and interested to attend this event – we have limited seats left.

Our team’s dedication to helping women, business leaders and companies benefit from greater gender equality is one of the reasons we are honored to announce Toft Group has recently been named a Top 50 Search Firm in Healthcare and Life Sciences! We believe the more men and women are empowered without limitation, the more we will accelerate the Life Sciences community as a whole.

Sincerely,

Robin Toft

President & Chief Engagement Officer, Toft Group Executive Search

Access the full Newsletter here

Toft Group Executive Search Named as one of the “Top 50 Healthcare & Life Sciences Search Firms” by Hunt Scanlon Media

Feb 22, 2017 – San Francisco, California: Toft Group, a global life sciences and healthcare executive recruiting firm, today announced it has been named a Top 50 Executive Search Firm in Healthcare and Life Sciences by Hunt Scanlon Media, the most widely referenced global news source in the human capital sector.

Hunt Scanlon has been ranking firms in various categories for nearly 30 years. This is the first year the news source has ranked firms in the Healthcare and Life Sciences sectors.

“Toft Group is honored to be recognized among the top executive search firms worldwide by an organization as prestigious as Hunt Scanlon,” commented Robin Toft, President & CEO of Toft Group. “Our success is attributed to our team of experienced search consultants, our commitment to delivering exceptional results and our collaborative network of partners, clients, and candidates who share the same passion for healthcare advancements and innovation.”

The complete list of search firms was published in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Recruiting Special Issue of the Hunt Scanlon Executive Search Review. Robin Toft is also highlighted as a sector expert in the feature article Life Sciences and Healthcare Search Firms Tap Outside Talent.

In the article, Toft discusses the shortage of executive talent available to effectively lead the industry through challenges and uncertainty, particularly in emerging companies that blend high-tech and biotech. This shortage is one of the reasons why companies, both inside and outside of life sciences, partner with Toft Group to fill C-level positions in a landscape where senior level executives who have leadership experience and a strong vision are critical.

“I am very proud of our search consultants’ ability to identify business leaders who create a competitive advantage and sustainable value for their companies,” added Toft.

Toft Group’s ranking as a Top 50 Executive Search Firm follows on the heels of the company being named a Top 150 Fastest Growing Private Company by the San Diego Business Journal. Toft Group has experienced double-digit revenue growth since it was established in 2010 and, to better support such growth, relocated their Northern California office to industry hotspot, the San Francisco Bay area and recently expanded its executive leadership team. These strategic decisions enhance Toft Group’s ability to support its entrepreneurial, rapidly growing client base in northern California, as well as improve access to outstanding talent for its executive search services worldwide.

About Toft Group Executive Search

Toft Group Executive Search is “Changing the Future of Medicine, One Relationship at a Time” and we take pride in the fact that our work helps our clients accelerate getting novel products to market. Named a Top 150 Fastest Growing Private Company and a Top 50 Executive Search Firm in Life Sciences, we are a global retained executive search firm that is 100% dedicated to life sciences & healthcare industries.  Our customers include biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, digital health, and diagnostic companies. With offices in San Francisco, San Diego and Boston, we assist a wide range of local, national and international companies – from venture backed start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. For more information, visit www.thetoftgroup.com.

About Hunt Scanlon Media

Hunt Scanlon Media has been informing the senior talent management sector for over 25 years. Our global news and intelligence data comes in many forms, including daily newswires, talent leadership reports, newsletter briefings and social media alerts. The privately-held company is headquartered in Greenwich, Conn.

Toft Group Named one of the 150 Fastest Growing Private Companies in San Diego

Executive recruiting firm recognized by San Diego Business Journal for significant revenue and growth trajectory

San Diego, CA July 14, 2016 – Toft Group, an executive search firm focused exclusively on building leadership teams for life sciences and healthcare companies, today announces they have been named by the San Diego business Journal as one of the 150 Fastest Growing Private Companies in San Diego for 2016.

The 13th annual ranking by the San Diego Business Journal recognized 150 local businesses that have succeeded through innovation, sustainable business models, and inspiring their employees to attain high-performance goals.

Toft Group has experienced double-digit revenue growth since it was established in 2010 as a result of a high demand to find only the best and brightest talent in the life sciences and healthcare industries. These industries currently face a talent shortage due to high retirement rates of executive “baby boomers” coupled with the challenges presented by the less experienced millennial talent pool. Toft Group has repeatedly helped their valued customers within biotech, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical device, and digital health companies to attract and retain executive-level candidates, by focusing upon the often neglected although well-qualified female and millennial talent pools.

“We are honored to be recognized as a top private company alongside so many innovative, forward-thinking businesses within San Diego,” commented Robin Toft, President & CEO of Toft Group Executive Search. “This recognition is a reflection of strong relationships with our industry partners and hard work by our world class team who diligently fulfill highly specialized executive roles within the life sciences and healthcare industry to change the future of medicine.”

So far in 2016, the company has announced the opening of its new office location in industry hot-spot, San Francisco Bay Area, the implementation of a leading cloud-based platform, and a direct partnership with one of the largest global executive search networks to support its continued growth and customer demand.

To be considered for the award, organizations must be San Diego-based, independent and privately held. Each company’s financial information is extensively analyzed, and ranking is determined based on gross fiscal year revenue for 2013, 2014 and 2015. The finalists received their awards at a private reception on July 13th.

 

About Toft Group Executive Search

Toft Group Executive Search is “Changing the Future of Medicine, One Relationship at a Time” and we take pride in the fact that our work helps our clients accelerate getting novel products to market. We are a global retained executive search firm that is 100% dedicated to life sciences & healthcare industries. Our customers include biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, digital health, and diagnostic companies. With offices in San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston, we assist a wide range of local, national and international companies – from venture backed start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.

Toft Group Executive Search Opens San Francisco Bay Area Office in Booming Biotech Hub

Exceptional growth prompts firm to open new Bay Area office
in life sciences industry hot-spot

Toft Group, an executive search firm exclusively dedicated to building leadership teams for life sciences and healthcare companies, today announces the opening of a new office in the San Francisco Bay Area to support continued growth and customer demand. The new office is strategically situated in South San Francisco, amongst neighboring biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, and digital health companies.

With their corporate headquarters in San Diego, CA, and satellite offices in South San Francisco, CA, San Ramon, CA, and Boston, MA, the company is well-positioned to support the top U.S. biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and digital health hubs, while also providing highly specialized executive search services worldwide.

“Our new location in the heart of one of the world’s top biotech communities aligns with our commitment to deliver higher quality candidates more quickly than other firms, thereby enabling our customers to commercialize their novel products faster for the benefit of patients worldwide,” commented Robin Toft, Founder, President & CEO of Toft Group.

This announcement follows recent news that the company has hired two new Vice Presidents to support the growing customer base of Toft Group’s West Coast pharmaceutical practice. The firm also just announced it has implemented a leading cloud-based platform that will provide the operational infrastructure to scale, while maintaining their timeline and milestone-driven process; an important differentiating factor within the executive search industry. Additionally, Toft Group recently entered into a direct partnership with the IESF Global Network, one of the largest retained executive search networks in the world to enhance their ability to deliver exceptional talent to its global customers. These carefully planned strategic initiatives further strengthen Toft Group’s positon in the executive search industry and enable the company to better serve its rapidly growing customer base within life sciences and healthcare companies.

About Toft Group Executive Search

Toft Group Executive Search is “Changing the Future of Medicine, One Relationship at a Time” and we take pride in the fact that our work helps our clients accelerate getting novel products to market. We are a global retained executive search firm that is 100% dedicated to life sciences & healthcare industries.  Our customers include biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, digital health, and diagnostic companies. With offices in San Francisco, San Diego and Boston, we assist a wide range of local, national and international companies – from venture backed start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.